ACR alliance campaigns for pediatric radiation dose education

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The Society for Pediatric Radiology (SPR), the American College of Radiology (ACR), the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) have partnered to launch a campaign, Image Gently, to educate providers on appropriate radiation doses for children. These four charter members of the alliance represent more than 160,000 physicians, radiologic technologists and medical physicists who serve a primary role in medical imaging.

The alliance will urge providers who perform imaging exams on children to: significantly reduce, or “child-size,” the amount of radiation used; scan only when necessary, scan only the indicated region and scan once; involve medical physicists to monitor pediatric CT techniques; and involve technologists to optimize scanning.

The Image Gently campaign will initially focus on CT scans. There were approximately 4 million pediatric CT scans performed in 2006 and the number of pediatric CT scans performed in the United States has tripled in the last five years, according to the alliance. The ACR said that the Image Gently campaign, partially funded by an unrestricted educational grant from GE Healthcare, is an effort to help ensure that medical protocols for the imaging of children keep pace with advancing technology. 

“As the stewards of nearly 100 years of radiology safety knowledge, radiologists are committed to ensuring that patients receive safe, necessary imaging care,” said Arl Van Moore Jr., MD, FACR, chair of the ACR board of chancellors. “The Image Gently campaign is an important opportunity for radiologists to help referring physicians and medical imaging professionals understand which exams may be most appropriate for children and how these exams may be carried out in a safe, effective manner.”